New Class Period Aimed at GHS Freshmen, Struggling Students
A "Resource Period" will kick off most days at Greendale High School beginning next school year, giving students needing extra help some time with teachers, and freshmen some time to transition.
Greendale High School will have a 30-minute period at the beginning of most school days next year to allow struggling students to get support and help transition freshmen into high school.
Called a "Resource Period," school officials say it will improve student achievement, create time for academic interventions and lead to opportunities for individualized learning.
Identified students will report to a Resource Period with a teacher of the content area in which they are struggling, according to a report to school board members.
Freshmen, meanwhile, will be in the Resource Period the entire first semester to develop the skills needed to succeed in high school.
Sometimes, a student may pulled into the period for one day or a few days at the request of a teacher or the student to work through difficulties.
"Not a glorified study hall, the Resource Period is an engaging, structured, interactive learning time aimed at academic success," according to the report.
Students not in a Resource Period do not have to be to class until the bell sounds for first hour at 7:50 a.m. For those who are dropped off early, the cafeteria and library will be open until Resource Period is over.
The Resource Period will be from 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. School starts at 7:30 a.m. Wednesdays. The Resource Period was created, in part, by reducing five class periods from 51 minutes to 49 minutes.
The idea isn't exactly new; other school districts have successfully implemented a similar program, High School Principal Steve Lodes said. It may take time for Greendale to adjust to it, but officials believe it will eventually lead to higher success.
When he shared the idea with parents prior to Monday's meeting of the Greendale School Board, which approved the proposal unanimously, the reaction was positive, Lodes said. The most frequently asked question was about the benefits for students who aren't struggling. Lodes said they, too, will have opportunities to work closer with teachers.
"There really is something for everyone in it, but our strong focus the first year will be the (freshmen) transition piece and the students who are struggling and we'll grow it from there," Lodes said.
Teachers were in support of the new period and said they will find ways to make up for the loss of two minutes on other class periods, Lodes said.
"The staff sees the value of this working with students in different ways and in new ways," Lodes said.
Students were also excited, said Josh Bartelme, the GHS student representative to the board. Sometimes getting help after school cuts into extra-curricular activities, Bartelme said, so a 30-minute period within the school day alleviates that problem.
"When we talked to students about it, it was a very good response. Students think it's awesome," he said.